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Bollinge

15% 'Gratuity' on drinks is not!

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Two different bartenders told me that the 15% service charge or gratuity, call it what you will, does not go to them, and is merely a sneaky way of increasing prices.

 

€9.80 for a Bloody Mary? All the cruise lines buy their liquor at duty-free prices!

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4 hours ago, Bollinge said:

Two different bartenders told me that the 15% service charge or gratuity, call it what you will, does not go to them, and is merely a sneaky way of increasing prices.

Certainly it does not go to them but to the cruise company. Cannot believe that after so many cruises you thought it is different. If the 15% would go to the bartender all of us would quit their jobs to become a bartender :D

 

4 hours ago, Bollinge said:

€9.80 for a Bloody Mary? All the cruise lines buy their liquor at duty-free prices!

Also like it always has been. Cruises are cheap, meals are included, drinks are very expensive. If you want to enjoy cocktails, just buy a drinks package. Or go to all inclusive lines.

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As you say, I have been on over fifty cruises, but this is the first time I have found the gratuity to be a surcharge and not a tip for the bar staff.

 

I think it's a relatively new thing on MSC as I have never asked the crew about it before. MSC have jumped on the bandwagon of profiteering like everyone else!

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17 minutes ago, Bollinge said:

As you say, I have been on over fifty cruises, but this is the first time I have found the gratuity to be a surcharge and not a tip for the bar staff.

Well, you are cruising MSC much longer than me, 2003 compared to 2011, but in all the years I never heard that this "Bar or Spa Service Charge" goes to the staff. Costa samesame. And realistically, if it would go to the staff, MSC would cut their wages exactly corresponding. I don´t believe any cruise line is paying much better than the others. I talked also to Indo staff that was working for different lines before "Why are you not working on the American ships where you get all these high tips?". And the unsurprising answer was "More tips, less salary, at the end, not much difference, higher position after some years with the same line is much more important".  

Edited by perakcruiser

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I assumed the 15% went into the service charge kitty and was split among servers etc that are part of the service charge - tips distribution as part of their compensation (as opposed to those who are strict salaries)

This information that it doesn't go to the servers seems wonky. Perhaps the bartender meant they don't get it directly 

We always leave the service charges as is and then additionally tip heavy in cash at the end of a sailing to those bartenders/cabin stewards/waiters/asst waiters and Maitre D etc etc that most impacted us

They greatly appreciate being recognized and the asst waiters and others who are often are overlooked are appreciative

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5 hours ago, Bollinge said:

As you say, I have been on over fifty cruises, but this is the first time I have found the gratuity to be a surcharge and not a tip for the bar staff.

 

I think it's a relatively new thing on MSC as I have never asked the crew about it before. MSC have jumped on the bandwagon of profiteering like everyone else!

 

Well, it does and it doesn't.

 

Does the tip go directly to the bartender who is working right then and there?  No, it goes to a pool that is evenly split among the entire crew, or at least the crew who is working in the venue you are drinking in.  This is pretty much standard among all the major US lines, and I would not be surprised if these lines also take a cut out of the pool as well.  Being that all these ships are all registered in corporate-friendly countries, its not going to be illegal for them to do it.

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4 minutes ago, Beardface said:

 

Well, it does and it doesn't.

 

Does the tip go directly to the bartender who is working right then and there?  No, it goes to a pool that is evenly split among the entire crew, or at least the crew who is working in the venue you are drinking in.  This is pretty much standard among all the major US lines, and I would not be surprised if these lines also take a cut out of the pool as well.  Being that all these ships are all registered in corporate-friendly countries, its not going to be illegal for them to do it.

 

Do you have a reference for this statement? MSC does many things entirely different than major US lines.

 

I ask because I have never been able to find an official cruise line statement for how MSC handles service charges in relation to its employees. 

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Just now, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

Do you have a reference for this statement? MSC does many things entirely different than major US lines.

 

I ask because I have never been able to find an official cruise line statement for how MSC handles service charges in relation to its employees. 

 

No direct link, but I've heard it enough times from asking around that its what I now figure is going on.

 

None of the lines really like to officially announce anything regarding how the 'gratuities' are handled because they want to make passengers think that withholding them is going to take a lot of money out of the pockets of their personal room stewards and waiters/waitresses in the MDR.

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3 minutes ago, Beardface said:

 

No direct link, but I've heard it enough times from asking around that its what I now figure is going on.

 

None of the lines really like to officially announce anything regarding how the 'gratuities' are handled because they want to make passengers think that withholding them is going to take a lot of money out of the pockets of their personal room stewards and waiters/waitresses in the MDR.

 

Thank you for replying.

 

I am going to respectfully caution anyone from assuming that just because the major US lines do things one way,  MSC will also follow suite.  MSC does their own thing on multiple levels. Not trying to be argumentative for the sake of argument, simply stating that MSC is an Italian line and they do things very different. I suspect that how US lines distribute tips holds very little relevance in this case.

 

Have you ever followed crewnews or other sites from crew members? My assumption from reading various forums is that it appears MSC is the entry level for many cruise ship employees. Once they get some experience they abandon ship for a line that pays more. 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

Thank you for replying.

 

I am going to respectfully caution anyone from assuming that just because the major US lines do things one way,  MSC will also follow suite.  MSC does their own thing on multiple levels. Not trying to be argumentative for the sake of argument, simply stating that MSC is an Italian line and they do things very different. I suspect that how US lines distribute tips holds very little relevance in this case.

 

Have you ever followed crewnews or other sites from crew members? My assumption from reading various forums is that it appears MSC is the entry level for many cruise ship employees. Once they get some experience they abandon ship for a line that pays more. 

 

 

 

 

On a recent Meraviglia cruise 23 out of 25 pool staff were Ex P and O cruises, our waiter was also Ex P and O, when asked their reason for joining MSC the response was better pay.

The CD Gene Young I believe is the first American to work in the role for MSC, he would hardly leave a well paid job to take a pay cut and work for MSC.

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9 hours ago, Bollinge said:

As you say, I have been on over fifty cruises, but this is the first time I have found the gratuity to be a surcharge and not a tip for the bar staff.

 

I think it's a relatively new thing on MSC as I have never asked the crew about it before. MSC have jumped on the bandwagon of profiteering like everyone else!

Why are you so concern? Are you thinking of applying for a job as a bartender with MSC? 

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2 hours ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

Perhaps the bartender was just playing the OP for an additional cash tip.

 

 

 

Hi

 

I guess the OP never thought of that. Likely the OP never worked at a job where tips were an important part of their salary. 

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4 hours ago, ISLANDCRUSO said:

On a recent Meraviglia cruise 23 out of 25 pool staff were Ex P and O cruises, our waiter was also Ex P and O, when asked their reason for joining MSC the response was better pay.

The CD Gene Young I believe is the first American to work in the role for MSC, he would hardly leave a well paid job to take a pay cut and work for MSC.

 

Your data would support the reading I have done. P&O is ranked below MSC. Makes sense that MSC would be a step up for the P&O folks. As one might suspect, the lines that get the most complaints are not Major US cruise lines (although they get a fair share also). European lines like Costa, P&C, Pullmientor, MSC (and even Cunard) have the most chatter about not receiving gratuities.

 

The officers, CD's, entertainment staff, etc.. rarely post about their salaries so I have no idea how MSC ranks in paying cruise directors.

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, ISLANDCRUSO said:

On a recent Meraviglia cruise 23 out of 25 pool staff were Ex P and O cruises, our waiter was also Ex P and O, when asked their reason for joining MSC the response was better pay.

The CD Gene Young I believe is the first American to work in the role for MSC, he would hardly leave a well paid job to take a pay cut and work for MSC.

One of my room stewards on MSC was an ex-employee of Costa.  He and the room service guy both told me they hope to extend their contracts with MSC.

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As the ‘OP’, I must state that I worked on Cunard Line, and have travelled as a passenger on fifty-odd cruises on multiple lines, so I know exactly what goes on on cruise ships.

 

I was just surprised, nay shocked, that the ‘gratuity’ does not go to the bar staff directly.

 

I noticed when I gave an additional tip in cash it went into a glass rather than the pocket of the bartender, presumably to be divvied up between all the bar staff at the end of the shift.

 

As the ‘service charge / gratuity’ should be anyway.

 

More outrageous is the 15% surcharge on mini bar consumption, where you pay a service charge for serving yourself! 😂😂😂

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I also worked on cruise ships for many years and gratuities were collated then split evenly between hotel crew including the laundry and galley (those of us on the bridge didn't get a penny of course because we were remunerated appropriately for our position and weren't providing any form of customer facing service). I would like to think that MSC does the same thing and if they didn't it would probably make for some very bad press for them, but as other posters mention what goes on in Italy... 

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21 hours ago, Beardface said:

 

Well, it does and it doesn't.

 

Does the tip go directly to the bartender who is working right then and there?  No, it goes to a pool that is evenly split among the entire crew, or at least the crew who is working in the venue you are drinking in.  This is pretty much standard among all the major US lines, and I would not be surprised if these lines also take a cut out of the pool as well.  Being that all these ships are all registered in corporate-friendly countries, its not going to be illegal for them to do it.


Another often heard fantasy.  The tips are not pooled on MSC or most other lines either.  Sometimes bartenders might pool together by temporary agreement.  

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10 hours ago, Bollinge said:

......More outrageous is the 15% surcharge on mini bar consumption, where you pay a service charge for serving yourself! 😂😂😂

 

For your convenience, of course!!

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13 hours ago, Skoobdo said:

One of my room stewards on MSC was an ex-employee of Costa.  He and the room service guy both told me they hope to extend their contracts with MSC.

 

Do you REALLY believe they are going to say "No, I won't extend my contract because working for [insert name of any cruiseline] sucks".

 

🙄

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33 minutes ago, jkgourmet said:

 

Do you REALLY believe they are going to say "No, I won't extend my contract because working for [insert name of any cruiseline] sucks".

 

🙄

Yes they would since we're in contact with each other routinely.

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